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Will Online Sales Rescue Holiday Shopping Season?

  • Written by Syndicated Publisher No Comments Comments
    December 26, 2013

    The news is terrible from brick and mortar retailers.

    Retail tracking firm ShopperTrak reports that in-store sales are down 3.1% from a year earlier, while store traffic plunged 21%. That was up to Sunday night, significant since the four days leading up Sunday were expected to be the busiest days for retailers since Black Friday.

    It’s well known that online shopping is increasing in popularity. But is it enough to overcome such dismal numbers from traditional retailers?

    Reports are that online sales are up 13% over last year. But that’s not an apple to apples comparison since the percentage increase is coming from a much lower base of online sales than the much higher normal sales level base of malls and overall brick and mortar retailers.

    It is an important question since the two unexpected upside revisions to 3rd quarter GDP growth were due to big increases in inventory building by businesses.

    Economists expected the inventory building to reverse in the 4th quarter and to translate into much slower GDP growth this quarter.

    If retail sales are so much lower than their forecasts the negative effect on inventory building, and therefore 4th quarter GDP, is likely to be even more substantial.

    Is this Santa’s sleigh taking off to deliver a traditional Santa Claus rally?

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    As I noted a couple of weeks ago: Let’s hope so if the old Stock Trader’s Almanac saying has any meaning, which is; “If Santa Claus should fail to call; bears may come to Broad & Wall.”. The Almanac defines the Santa Claus rally as being the last five days of the year, and the first two days of the following year, and says if it doesn’t show up, it is historically a bad omen for the following year.

    To read my weekend newspaper column click here:   The Fed Will Still Provide Massive QE Next Year – But

    Subscribers to Street Smart Report: NOTE: Due to the Christmas holiday, the Wednesday Mid-Week Markets Update will be out this afternoon rather than tomorrow in your secure area of Street Smart Report.com 

    Images: Flickr (licence attribution)

    About The Author – Sy Harding, Street Smart Report

    Sy Harding publishes the financial website Street Smart Report Online and a free daily Internet blog at Sy’s Free Blog. In 1999 he authored Riding The Bear – How To Prosper In the Coming Bear Market. His latest book is Beat the Market the Easy Way! – Proven Seasonal Strategies Double Market’s Performance!

    It includes our research and analysis on the economy and markets, and provides charts and buy and sell signals on the major market indexes, sectors, bonds, gold, individual stocks and etf’s, including short-sales and ‘inverse’ etf’s.

    It provides two model portfolios as guides. One is based on ourSeasonal Timing Strategy, one on our Market-Timing Strategy.

    In depth updates are provided every Wednesday, with interim ‘hotline’ updates every time we make a trade. An 8-page traditional newsletter Street Smart Report is provided on the website every 3 weeks, in pdf format for viewing or printing out.

    There is the Street Smart School of online technical analysis ‘seminars’,commentaries to keep you ‘street smart’ about Wall Street, and much more. 

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